The seasons are changing! The first day of Autumn brought some needed rain for much of Oahu. The warm temperatures are also slowly cooling and now we had our first cold front of the season. This brings our incoming trade winds from a more northerly direction. I bring this up because it affects how we care for our orchids. We may want to begin cutting back on our watering, due to the shorter days and lower temperatures, our potted orchids will take longer to dry out. If you are prone to black rot fungus, it might be a good idea to do a preventative fungicide spray.
I have suddenly found some mysterious sunburn marks on a few of my orchid leaves. Well, by accident I was in the greenhouse around noon and for a few minutes the sun was now coming in from a more southerly direction, through the central vented part of my greenhouse. In this area I do not have an extra layer of shade cloth and plastic sheeting. So on this hot day without much air circulation, sunburn! Everyone needs to be aware of the sun’s movement and adjust your orchids. Move the wider, horizontal leaves further away from the sun and increase air circulation. As we move towards winter the sun’s direction will get even more southerly.
This is a great time for orchid flowers. Hopefully the hard work of watering, feeding, and repotting our orchids during the spring and summer months will pay off with a great fall and winter flowering show. Cattleyas are in full flower, with the late summer and fall flowers coming in at this time. Vandas are also flowering, as well as some late Brazilian Miltonias. Of course Dendrobiums, especially the Phalaenopsis (round flower) types are in full bloom. The Honolulu Orchid Show was our last show of the year, hopefully everyone brought out lots of orchids for the display. Our next big event is our annual Auction Night on November 6. If you don’t have orchids flowering now, it will be a great idea to take advantage of the great inventory and deals offered at the auction. We will be bringing in orchids from the best growers from all over the state. Spread the word, it is open to everyone. It should be a fun night!
On April 24, 2019, UH Manoa Hamilton Library held a presentation entitled, “Journey Through the Natural Sciences in Hamilton Library’s Rare Book Collection”.
Attendees were able to look through several rare books featuring beautifully illustrated plates of orchids, birds and other animals.
One of the presenters, Sheron Harwood, WOS President, captivated the audience with her knowledge of orchid history, diversity and culture.
The books from this rare collection dated from as early as 1587!
Of particular interest was a large, bound volume published from 1837-1843, The Orchidaceae of Mexico & Guatamala.
You can see from the picture of the Cattleya Skinneri with Sheron’s hand in it, just how immense this book was.
Other pictures are a Cycnoches Egertonianum, unusual in that it has male and female flowers and a Stanhopea Martiana, unique because the flower spikes grow down from the bottom.
The detail and accuracy of these hand-drawn prints were amazing, right down to bug bites on the stems.
~ Dawn Bonak
I bet if I do everything just right, I can get that daggum orchid flower to come out of that plant. I know it’s in there because I’d seen it before. It was a sweet little thing that made me smile to look at it.
OK, let’s see here. Now, Scot says what you need to pay attention to is:
#1- Don’t leave your plant soaking in water all day. It’s got to dry quick or the roots will rot.
There are tricks for that. You put the plant in a pot with stuff like Styrofoam (not kiddin’) for the bottom and around the sides. Then, add some bark or gravel to take up the space in the middle of the pot and get that plant in there all nice and snug, so it won’t wobble around. Get it? This stuff’s not gonna hold water very long at all.
And, the most important thing is to use a little-bitty pot. That way, there’s no way for water to accumulate. If that plant is still wobbly, put a stake next to a stem and twist-tie them together. If the plant wants to fall over, put that little pot into an empty bigger pot.
#2-Blah, blah, blah…
That’s a lot of words.
Don’t you wish someone can just show you how to do this?
Well, you are in luck.
Go watch Scot, or another orchid sage, in person at a Windward Orchid Society Saturday Workshop at Dot’s house. It’s better than a YouTube video because you can ask questions and even bring your own plant and fix it up under expert orchid tutelage.
And bonus, bring a yummy dish to share and enjoy a potluck lunch and talking story after the workshop. This is more fun than reading about orchid care…really.
Watch for more details about these workshops in your Windward Orchid Society newsletter.
Of course you need to sign up and be a member to get our newsletters.
Here’s what happens at Dot’s Workshop:
Larry Yamamoto, from the Kunia Orchid Society, shared his knowledge and experience on the topic of General Orchid Care.
Larry has a degree in Agriculture from the University of Hawaii and 30 years of experience with the US Department of Agriculture.
He grows Cattleya, Vanda, Slipper Orchids and other orchids.
The Windward Orchid Society meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of every month at the King Intermediate School Cafeteria, located at 46-155 Kamehameha Hwy. in Kaneohe.
Become a member
Join the Windward Orchid Society to help promote, educate and show an appreciation of one of the most beautiful and exotic of all plants. The Orchid.